In a new weekly update pv magazine, the DNV company Solcast presents the solar radiation power data it collected from Europe in June. The data shows that unusually high pressure over the North Sea caused June total radiation in England and France to be up to 20% higher than normal.
In early summer, there is usually a high pressure ridge known as the “Azores High” over the North Atlantic Ocean. This June, high pressure extended much further to the northeast than usual and was concentrated over the North Sea and was weaker than usual in the North Atlantic.
Persistent high pressure over the North Sea brought drier easterly winds to large areas of western Europe while restricting the passage of cloud-bearing weather systems from the Atlantic. This pattern produced up to 20% more sunshine than normal in England and France, and smaller amounts of about 5-10% more than normal in Italy, Switzerland, northern Spain and western Germany.
This weather will also affect Central and Eastern Europe and southern Spain. However, local convection and storm epidemics dampened their radiation output, as a result of which their overall radiation intensity was close to normal.
Looking at June absolute total irradiance, the result was that France experienced roughly the same total irradiance as typically sunnier Spain and Italy, while CEE and Scandinavia experienced lower total irradiance.
Solcast produces these numbers by tracking clouds and aerosols with an accuracy of 1-2 kilometers worldwide using satellite data and proprietary AI/ML algorithms. This information is used to drive irradiance models, allowing Solcast to calculate irradiance with high resolution, with a typical error of less than 2%, and also cloud tracking forecasts. This data is used by more than 300 companies that manage more than 150 GW of solar energy worldwide.